Posted by: lifeonislandtime | July 30, 2017

The Square Mile

It's no surprise that my favorite part of London is the "Square Mile". This is the oldest quarter of London, and there has been a settlement right about where I am currently sitting since pre-history. Since recorded history, it's been the Bretons, the Romans, the Vikings, the Angles and Saxons, the Normans, and various current nationalities.

We are fans of "unique" lodgings when we travel. We've stayed in castles, remodeled linen mills, renovated Victorian college rooming houses, and renovated communist apartments. The CitizenM is no different.

The hotel chain prides itself on being "edgy" and "cool" and catering to business and/or non-traditional travelers. It certainly delivers, but it isn't for everyone. The rooms are cleverly designed pods, with a bed fitted into the one window, a fogged-glass bathroom partitioned off, and a small vanity tucked against one wall. The main feature is the location. CitizenM creates boutique hotels in top-notch locations for a reasonable fare. Case in point, this is the third CitizenM we've stayed in: first was on the parade in Glasgow, second was in Times Square New York, and now we're at the Tower of London.

The location of the Tower of London CitizenM is not just in close proximity to the tower: it practically sits in the fortress. If I were an outfielder, I could easily throw the ball into the castle yard from my room. Sadly, I'm not an outfielder and won't be tempted to fling projectiles into what is still legally a royal residence. I may spend more time in London than I was bargaining for, in that case!

It's not just the Tower. The Thames river, the pulse of the city since pre-history flows past our room. Watching the activity of modern barges, boats, and ferries makes me long for a time machine so I could go back and see what it looked like with 1820's Clipper ships dotting its length and sailing to the large brick storehouses to off-load their wares from around the empire. It must have been quite a sight.

Of course, I don't want to go back too far, as my hotel is sitting at the site of the Tower Gallows. Though highly entertaining to the Tudors, it's not really my cup of tea…


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